We need a new term? (As Huey Lewis didn’t say)

In my post celebrating this blog’s first year I noted, “I’m trying out a new neologism, since I’m as sick of biblioblogosphere as others: any takers?” while using “biblogworld.”

I have no problem with neologisms that serve a purpose and roll pleasingly off the tongue. I can get sick of overused, trendy, or pointless neologisms pretty quickly; the same is true for neologisms that are ugly or hard to say.

In this case, a number of people had noted that they really didn’t like “biblioblogosphere,” mostly because it really doesn’t roll pleasingly off the tongue or keyboard–it’s too Germanic for most tastes. (In construction, not in derivation.) More recently, there’s the other issue–a sphere implies a center, and the world of library-related blogs has no such center.

“Biblogworld” is a non-starter, as the comments have made clear. “Library blogs” has the problem that the part of the arena that most interests me doesn’t consist of library blogs so much as blogs by “library people.” Library blogs–those run by and on behalf of specific libraries–can be enormously valuable if done right, but they really fall in a different, if related, category. And “Librarian blogs” is a little tricky, although it would allow me to investigate as an interested outsider–but it would also eliminate great blogs by other library people who don’t (or don’t yet) hold the degree. (Sorry, but as long as I’m an ALA member and nobody’s chosen to give me an honorary MLS–and boy, is the latter improbable–I’m unwilling to call myself a librarian. Drives my MLS-holding wife crazy, it does, but there it is.)

Suggestions? Some short phrase or pleasing term that encompasses the field of weblogs written by one or a small group of “library people” (as identified by themselves) and at least in part vaguely related to libraries and/or librarianship?

I can even provide a Cites & Insights hook. Yes, I do plan to do a newer, larger, different version of the “investigation” I did last year, and I’d like to have a good name for it.

16 Responses to “We need a new term? (As Huey Lewis didn’t say)”

  1. Fiona Says:

    LISblogs? Would include LIS faculty, all levels of library workers, and blogs in the information sphere.

    (Note: thinking on this term is probably heavily influenced by the fact that I’ve been tinkering with a wiki on my site called LISauthor – http://www.blisspix.net/lisauthor/)

  2. walt Says:

    LISBlogs: Reactions? Other suggestions?

    I think my own initial reaction is fairly positive (although I’m not a great “IS” fan); it’s short, easy to parse, easy to say…

    In which case the second round of Investigating the Biblioblogosphere might be “Looking at LISblogs.”

    [Not that this 'umble, peculiar little blog is going to Establish the Name...except as it's used hereabouts and in C&I.]

  3. Carlos Ovalle Says:

    I guess it depends. What does LIS stand for? ^_-

  4. walt Says:

    “Librarianship isn’t science.” No, wait, that’s not right. (Or maybe it is, but I don’t want to dig this hole any deeper…)

    Christina Pikas left a one-word comment on a post at Free Range Librarian that may be an even stronger choice:

    Liblogs. (Of course, that can be read as relating to the political bent of many library people, but never mind…)

    Who’s next?

  5. Christina Pikas Says:

    I was corrected also, because liblogs are things (like librarian blogs) where the biblioblogosphere is a place or a collection. Dunno, either :)

  6. walt Says:

    “Corrected” isn’t the term I would use. “Liblogs” is a plural noun, thus refers to a group of library/librarian blogs. Any plural noun identifies a collection.

    The “place” idea isn’t one I’m necessarily gung-ho about. One of the misgivings expressed by someone else was that there’s no real “center” to the collection of library/librarian blogs; I’m not sure I regard it as a place. (“YMMV” or “different strokes” apply here, to be sure.)

    We’ll let this discussion simmer a while longer. In this case, I don’t really have strong feelings against biblioblogosphere, but I wouldn’t mind substituting a two-syllable word for a six-syllable word!

  7. stevenb Says:

    I’d be willing to venture that most librarians relate to library blogs, personal and organizational, mostly through their aggregator. That is, I don’t have much personal engagement with the blogs themselves, but do so primarily through their feeds. So why not skip the “blog” aspect all together and go for “libfeeds”. Simple. To the point. Two syllables. LISblogs seems to work pretty well also. For some reason the term “liblogiverse” came to mind, but I’d say don’t go there.

  8. walt Says:

    Stevenb: I’m going to disagree with this one, at least partially. Yes, I deal with virtually all the blogs I read via Bloglines–but I read the posts on a blog-by-blog basis, not the horrendous “here are all the posts in one chaotic stream” option, and I’m very much aware of each blog’s “personality.”

    I read posts from certain blogs differently than I would read the exact same text if it came from a different blog. (If The Nation and the National Review and, say, FHM all ran precisely the same essay, it would have different significance in each case.) And, to be sure, if I choose to participate in the conversation (where that’s feasible), that means going to the blog itself.

    So, for my own usage, “libfeeds” wouldn’t say it. They’re not feeds; they’re blogs that I read via feeds. Just as books that I read from the library are still books, not libtexts.

    In one way, this is all silliness. In another way, it’s not–and even if it is silliness, well, we need some silliness…

  9. Brian Says:

    Brogs! One syllable. From: liBRary blOGs, of course. (Or put an apostrophe at the beginning, if you like: ‘brogs.)

    “Brog” is already a word, but it means “to poke or prod with a pointed instrument”. That fits pretty well with what we’re talking about here!

  10. walt Says:

    Brog? Well, there are blawgs, so I suppose anything’s possible.

  11. Elena Says:

    I’ve never actually heard of anyone getting an honorary MLS. Have you?

  12. walt Says:

    No, I haven’t. That’s only one reason my getting one is wildly improbable. Just at a guess, the Librarian of Congress and a few other Big Names would get and deserve them before I would.

    There have been other discussion streams lately about MLS holders who think they shouldn’t call themselves librarians if they no longer work in a library. That strikes me as silly (as far as I’m concerned, my wife’s still a librarian even though she works at RLG, and the other MLS-holding people here are librarians as well), but people make their own choices.

  13. Richard Says:

    What I really want to know is when the Funcational Requirements for BibliographicBlogs (FRBB- “furb”) will be available from IFLB (Internation Federation of Library Blogs). And where are the Ango-American Blogging Rules for Web 2.0 (AABR2.0)? Thankfully, by definition, most blogs are already MARB21 (MAchine Readable Blog) compliant.

  14. walt Says:

    Richard: Very good point. (It is Friday, isn’t it?) I think a dissertation, IMLBS-funded study (the Institute for Museum and Library Blog Studies), and perhaps an International Consortium of Library Blogging Consortia (ICLBC) are all overdue. Or hot. (I suppose first we need some Library Blogging Consortia and metaconsortia…)

    Just the kind of thing that a fine university with a revered library school could spearhead. Say, for example, somewhere like Urbana-Champaign, just to choose a name at random.

  15. Filipino Librarian Says:

    i don’t know if the matter has been settled already, but i just saw this now (via laughing librarian). rambling librarian uses the term “liblogarians,” while i use “blograrians.” i don’t know whether either term will fit what you need.

  16. walt Says:

    “Settled” would be the wrong word. I’m using “liblogs” and “libloggers” for now, but without very much conviction. Not that the name really matters very much.


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